Paul Appeals to Caesar

Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, 3 asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem—while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him. 4 But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there shortly. 5 “Therefore,” he said, “let those who have authority among you go down with me and accuse this man, to see if there is any fault in him.”

6 And when he had remained among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day, sitting on the judgment seat, he commanded Paul to be brought. 7 When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood about and laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove, 8 while he answered for himself, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”

9 But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged before me concerning these things?”

10 So Paul said, “I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you very well know. 11 For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.”

12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar? To Caesar you shall go!” — Acts 25:1-12.

Festus insists that he will hear Paul’s case at Caesarea and not at Jerusalem, as the Jews request. They hope to ambush and kill Paul as he travels to Jerusalem. The Jews spend at least ten days with Festus. Some Jews go to Caesarea. Paul answers their complaints before Festus, saying that he has not offended Jewish law, temple law, or Caesar’s authority.

Festus then asks Paul if he will go to Jerusalem to stand trial before him there. Festus wants to please Paul’s accusers. Paul appeals to Caesar, and Festus confirms that the appeal will be heard before Caesar, as is Paul’s legal right. This also means that Paul will not go to Jerusalem and risk murder by the Jews. [Source: The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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